Meet Designer Chelsea Petaja – our July Designer of the Month

Our Designer of the Month for July is Chelsea Petaja! Chelsea joined the Bella Figura family this year and has 5 new designs for 2014 – and they’re all on sale this month! Chelsea’s style is modern yet sweet and has a hand-crafted look. Several of her new designs are on the rustic side and would be perfect for a fall wedding! Chelsea gave us a little peek into her home – where she lives and works with her husband Tec Petaja.

Bella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja

Living, working, loving and entertaining out of one place ain’t no joke. My husband and I recently moved into the same studio space (a reclaimed garage in our backyard) which makes our living quarters just a little tighter… and a little more revealing about our individual working habits. (Like my humming and Tec’s lack of an internal monologue. Ha!) But when setting up our space, I ran across this quote by William Morris that helps me to be honest in my design aesthetic: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” For me, white and bright with pops of color and pattern are beautiful. My computer is useful. My drafting table and desk are both. I’m surrounded by artwork and photographs and sketches that are meaningful, but when they become mundane, I switch them up so that this is a space of creativity and inspiration–a space where imagination can wander and emails can be sent.

Bella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja's workspace

Bella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja's workspaceBella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja's workspace

Take a look at some of Chelsea’s designs below – her entire collection (including invitations, save the dates, social notes, and more!) is on sale for 10% off during the month of July (and you can save an additional 10% if you order 6 printed pieces or more!). Have questions about this promotion? Please, be in touch!

Designs by Chelsea Petaja are on sale through the month of July 2014!

Harvest by Chelsea Petaja for Bella Figura is on sale through the month of July 2014!

Wreath Crest by Chelsea Petaja for Bella Figura is on sale through the month of July 2014!

The fine print: this offer is exclusive to designs by Chelsea Petaja and does not apply towards the purchase of other designs. Orders must be placed by 11:59pm Eastern on July 31, 2014 in order to receive this offer.


This Bride: Rustic Summer

Rustic Thicket letterpress invitation + wedding inspiration from Bella Figura

bride | rustic thicket letterpress invitation - on sale through July 31, 2014! | table setting 

Hand Calligraphy Trends with Sarah Hanna

Asking “What styles can you calligraph?” is like asking a chef, “How many ways can you cook chicken?” If you understand your craft, you know that there are endless variations. And the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Understanding letter forms is the start to taking any font and adapting it for hand-lettered script. Today, Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna is sharing her favorite calligraphy trends — from the most popular styles and ink colors to the different ways people are using calligraphy to add an extra special touch to life’s most important events.

Trending now: without question, Victoria. I think that is because it is traditional with a personality. Generally, I match the script from the invitation – if that is my calligraphy, excellent. I can match almost any script, though. Black ink is and always will be the most classic, formal ink for addressing wedding invitations. I do, however, custom-mix a lot of gold, amethyst, and pewter.

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring Victoria, her most popular style

Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring Victoria, her most popular style

Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring her Embellished Victoria hand

Embellished Victoria hand calligraphed envelope – Sarah Hanna’s most lively style 

Callaway styled hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Classic Callaway – the up-and-comer (Callaway is the new kid, but she is bound to be the next homecoming queen!)

Callaway styled hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Classic Callaway hand calligraphed envelope 

A hand calligraphed note by Sarah Hanna, written on a Bella Figura Lace social note
The hand-written note is making a come-back! Just ask the New York Times. Emotion comes alive in a way that electronic communication simply cannot. I am often commissioned to calligraph a toast or a quote or something special to be framed. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy (or written by you)…just intentional. In the words of that brilliant booze-hound Don Draper, “Make it simple, but significant.”

Unique uses for hand calligraphy: I get a lot of interesting requests. I was recently asked to be part of a truly elaborate beach engagement! My client commissioned me to hand-paint their song on 4 canvas banners. She also had me calligraph promises on 30 different cards to be tied with ribbon to a tree over the candlelight picnic. Her girlfriend is a wedding photographer, and my client made up an alias email and hired her to photograph this special engagement…..but when she arrived to photograph the engagement, she realized it was for her! She said, yes, yes, yes!!

A client recently commissioned Sarah Hanna to create hand calligraphed promise cards for an elaborate proposal

The promise cards for the engagement was a really meaningful one. Wedding toasts and vows mixed with custom painting is a favorite. Right now, I love doing the custom nursery rhymes. And of course, every Christmas, the Santa letters are fabulous! And I am REALLY excited about my new line of Artful Correspondence - hand-illustrated correspondence card sets.

Favorite calligraphy trends: Art that has staying power always gets my vote. A symbol or monogram that can be used after your wedding (which look fantastic on dance floors!), the bride’s married name custom-designed so she can put it on letterpressed stationery and more is an excellent gift. I love these trends, especially the ‘avere’ ‘tenere’ chairs….mais bien sur!

A custom dance floor monogram penned by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

How did you get your start as a calligrapher? My mother Kaye Hanna is an incredible artist, master calligrapher, and my instructor. So, I am turning into my mother! Truthfully, if I end up with a fraction of her talent, I will be a lucky girl.

Blue Danube style hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Blue Danube hand calligraphed envelope 

London Script hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

London script – perfect for your thank you note to Her Majesty. Or your wedding at Ascot.

Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelopes by Sarah Hanna

Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelope

Embellished Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelopes by Sarah Hanna

Embellished Honoured Guest – a fuller version of Honoured Guest

 

Colorful Cabo Wedding + Eleanor Invitations on Style Me Pretty

We worked with The Village Invites to create Tracy and Alexander’s vibrant Eleanor wedding invitations, which feature hand calligraphy from Elizabeth Hardin and bold fuchsia ink. Our Morocco motif was used on the envelopes and coasters in fuchsia and aquamarine inks and paired beautifully with the colorful stamps used on the invitation envelopes. We loved seeing photos from this colorful destination wedding on Style Me Pretty – be sure to check out the full gallery!

Colorful Cabo wedding featured on Style Me Pretty with letterpress wedding invitations from Bella Figura

Photography: InTandem | Event Planning: SIGNATURE, Event Consulting & Design | Wedding Dress:Susan Neville | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: Esperanza Resort | Reception Venue:Esperanza Resort | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo

Bejeweled Invitations by Kamal featured on Style Me Pretty!

We were thrilled to see this inspiration shoot that we collaborated on with Dee Kay Events on Style Me Pretty recently! The shoot was inspired by 1920′s glamour, complete with beaded flapper dresses, classic decor and 20′s inspired hairdo’s. Our ever-popular Bejeweled invitations by Kamal fit perfectly with Diane’s vision for the shoot, which turned out beautifully. Visit Style Me Pretty to see more photos!

A vintage chic inspiration shoot featuring Bella Figura's Bejeweled invitations featured on Style Me Pretty

Photography: Love, Sylvia Photography | Cupcakes: Papa Ganache | Groom’s Attire: Tessuto Menswear | Accessories: Happily Ever Borrowed | Bride’s Dress: Unique Vintage | Bride’s Gown: Isabelle’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dress & Accessories: Unique Vintage | Event Design + Planner: Dee Kay Events | Florals:Monday Morning Flowers | Furnishings + Rentals: Bits & Pieces Rentals | Invitation + Paper Goods: Bella Figura | Venue Location: Wilson Hall 

Many thanks to Diane from Dee Kay Events in Tennent, New Jersey for inviting us to be a part of this shoot!

La Salle letterpress wedding invitations – delicate frame and bold typography

Sometimes the simplest change to an existing invitation design can make a big impact – like this horizontal customization of our vertical La Salle design.  Nicole and Robert accommodated more text than the sample without sacrificing the delicate frame and bold typography that make this design so unique.

letterpress wedding invitations by Bella Figura

letterpress inks: pewter + navy | fonts: kunsel + eros + conquerer | paper: bella cotton 1-ply white | customization #18751

 

Sarah Hanna Travels – Adventures in France, Part II

Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna has been sharing photos and stories from her adventures in France, where she’s currently spending time in the gorgeous village of Cassis. Today we’re sharing a few of the projects that Sarah has been working on in France – starting with La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, where Sarah calligraphed all over the walls!

La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, France
La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis A children’s shop owner in France (who happens to also be a chef featured in Vogue Europe) asked me to help with décor for her new venture. She was transforming the back space into a children’s cooking and art school, and she wanted me to letter on the walls. Cooking? Art? French? Where do I sign???
La Tête à Toto boutique cooking school for children in Cassis, France
Children’s cooking school (before)
Sarah Hanna calligraphs the walls of La tête à toto' boutique in Cassis, France
Hand-lettering at Tête à Toto It was great fun and a solid French lesson (thanks to Google translate). Up until now, I do most of my French vocabulary training at the grocery store….or when I get home from the grocery store and say, “Oh. I thought that was chicken.”  
La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, France - cooking school for children
The finished product

Sarah Hanna hand calligraphed the walls of Tete a Toto, a children's boutique + cooking school in Cassis, France

Fashion meets function under the sink 
La Tête à Toto boutique + cooking school for children in Cassis, France
The cooking school (after) 
Sarah Hanna recently began offering hand-painted social notes
Hand-illustrated correspondence cards In keeping with the ‘fait à la main’ style, this year, I am launching boxed sets of hand-painted correspondence cards. The paper I am using is Fabriano. It is the oldest paper mill in Europe and a favorite of Michaelangelo. Ooh la la! 
Custom lullaby with hand calligraphy and artwork by Sarah Hanna
Customized children’s lullaby I have a sweet spot for all things classic and creative for bébé. I have started to take lullabies and customize the words to fit the new family (for example: ‘If that Crimson Tide won’t roll, Mama’s gonna buy you a fishing pole’ for an Alabama grad mom and a dad who loves to fish). I ask a few questions about the couple and word-smith the poem myself. Then I hand-calligraph and illustrate the piece for the nursery. It’s a perfect gift.
Baby shower + lullaby photographs courtesy of Lauren Louise Photography.

July 4th inspired letterpress wedding invitations

With fireworks and festivities just around the corner for the July 4th holiday, we were inspired to share this customization of our Modern Fete wedding invitation design. Jade and Alex found the perfect summer palette in sunny yellow ink and shiny silver foil and their tri-fold save the date is sweet yet functional, giving guests lodging information for the busy holiday weekend.

letterpress + foil wedding invitations by Bella Figura

letterpress ink: yolk | foil stamping: silver matte | font: alouette | paper: bella cotton 1-ply white | envelope: bella cotton white | customization #17570 | Union Street Papery

This Bride: Pretty in Plaid

Modern Black Tie Wedding Invitation Inspiration

This stately and sophisticated customization of the Duncan design is formal but not too uptight. It’s perfect for an ultra-chic black tie wedding centered around signature cocktails, modern menswear patterns and partying the night away. Duncan – and all of designer Jess Tierney’s inspired designs – are on sale through June 30th!

duncan customization | letterpress ink: black | foil stamping: gold shine | fonts: brandon + sansa | paper: white | invite size: SQ-7 | liner: sullivan stripe pattern in black | original design and customization by in-house designer Jessica Tierney

Modern black-tie same sex wedding invitation inspiration by Jessica Tierney for Bella Figura

drinks, grooms & venue